Smith won’t renew contract, may leave sooner
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — University of The Bahamas yesterday confirmed its president Dr Rodney Smith will not renew his contract at the university in August 2022 and has begun actively seeking employment.
This comes after it was revealed that Smith has been shortlisted along with two other finalists to be West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) 12th president.
The university posted on its website that Smith is expected to participate in a meet and greet on the U.S. campus this week – allowing WVSU’s faculty, staff, and students to learn more about him.
In a statement from the Board of Trustees, the university said Smith, “may possibly leave the university before the expiration of his contract if he is offered a position and accepts the offer.”
It assured that the board will establish and convene a Presidential Search Committee to lead the process of selecting Smith’s successor.
The university community will be advised regarding the search process involving stakeholder representatives and timelines in short order.
“President Smith has given his assurance that he remains committed to fulfilling his mandate at UB and to ensuring a smooth transition in leadership when the time comes,” the statement added.
Smith, whose tenure at The University of The Bahamas has been controversial, was granted a new five-year contract in 2017, which would expire in 2022.
He previously served as president of the tertiary education in 2004, but soon after his start, he was embroiled in a plagiarism scandal and resigned in 2005.
Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas (UTEB) President Daniel Thompson called Smith’s actions an “abandonment of duty during a pandemic”.
“This institution, this country is faced with one of the worst situations post-Dorian and the COVID-19 pandemic, and he chooses to look for greener pastures and we wish him the best,” Thompson said.
He has urged the UB Board of Trustees to seek locally in its new presidential search.
Thompson insisted that the university has a deep bench of seven to 10 professionals who have formerly served at international and national institutions who can serve as executive vice president or president until a search is conducted to have a replacement for Dr Smith.